Title: The Bluest Marble
Author: Vipin Kumar
Genre: Fiction – Urban Life
ISBN – 10: 9383952059
Price: Rs. 249 (Buy from Flipkart at Rs.242)
Pages: 264 Pages
Summary: The Bluest Marble is the sort of book that will give you company when you are bored of the happenings in your life. The story of an ordinary office going bachelor narrated in first person, with all the blemishes of life in an urban community, The Bluest Marble, takes you down your own moments in life. This book makes a wonderful read, and, for a debut novel, does promise a lot in the future from the author. This book made me remember the stories that used to be shown on television in the Doordarshan days, that had a sense of melancholy and yearning – Ek Katha.
From the Book Cover: Aditya is now called Ram Kumar 125 – a name assigned to him like all other amnesiac patients in a Mental Hospital. But Aditya doesn’t have amnesia in reality; he just doesn’t wish to live in the world as he knew before getting into the hospital. He meets new people, the inmates of the hospital, including a former CEO, a software engineer and a Doctor in theoretical physics. Aditya seems to be discovering himself unknowingly, while living amidst the other patients. He finds the mysterious and exquisite bluest marble that he has was involuntarily looking for all his life. The Bluest Marble is a profound exploration of young urban desires and anguishes in the context of economic turmoil.
How satisfied are you with the way your life is at the moment? Does life in a corporate environment give you time to find happiness and peace? Most of us would answer in the negative for both the questions. Most of us are ordinary people, with ordinary dreams and an ordinary approach to life. But we were not like this when we were children. We had dreams, ambitions, aspirations and long-term goals of achieving something extraordinary.
Where do those dreams and aspirations disappear?
The Bluest Marble, tells the story of one such individual – Aditya, as narrated by him to his girlfriend and the one who asks him to marry her!
The story begins with Aditya being proposed to by his girlfriend Jenny. He says Yes and then starts telling his story to her. Indeed, a very strange way to begin your debut novel!
Aditya narrates how he had a good job, with adequate pay but loses it to office politics and goes in to a state of denial. He slowly alienates his friends, who though are good companions, fail to understand him. The characters are built well and one gets a sense of having been there and done that.
How Aditya falls back on his family during tough times and how he feels let down by his dad and which ultimately leads to him attempting suicide and finally how he rises up from the depths of human depravity with the help of Individuals discarded by society, is what constitutes the rest of the novel.
The story does seem insipid at the times and many may hold it against this book, but for me, it is a good attempt in the mould of O’Henry.
What I liked about the book
- An ordinary every day narrative which resonates with most of our urban lifestyle.
- Good build up of the characters with a hint of the quirks various individuals have. Gives you a feel that you have lived through such situations.
- Simple language and a beautiful narrative.
- The title is very interesting and will keep you guessing as to what The Blue Marble is actually about.
- The second half of the book simply keeps you turning the pages.
- The usage of regional tint in the dialogues make everything so fluid that you feel as if you are not just reading a book, but witnessing an event.
What I did not like about the book
- Grammar and Spell check might have helped.
- A few characters could have been omitted, especially the build up of the ex-girlfriend.
- There are a few things about the characterisation of Aditya aka Ram Kumar 125 that could leave you thinking whether he is actually an insane person. (But then again, this could be a positive as well).
- The narrative becomes labored and insipid at times.
Buy or Don’t buy? Honsetly, for the price I wouldn’t buy the paperback. But the ebook is something you can buy.
I give the book 3 out of 5.